I Quarrel with Letter Bee 10, Seitokai 10 and Trapeze 9

For those of you who were tired of backstory in the last episode, Letter Bee 10 is mostly backstory again, even with it being Lag’s first official day on the job.

Lag and his brand spankin' new letter carrier togs.

Aria tells us what happened, let’s see, 12 years ago on day 311 or something like that, when the artificial sun that puts the entire country in a weird twilight decided to flicker a little.

I find this interesting. Are we to suppose that their planet hasn’t a genuine sun anymore? Or the fact that it was night simply mean it was really night? If they had waited, would the real sun have come up? But it would come up anyway, and I have a feeling it would overwhelm the artificial light’s sun. So … no sun? What happened to it? Or am I worrying too much? You see, all this time I assumed that the fake sun was there to mask something the empire doesn’t want them to know. Well, I still believe this. Will it ever be explained?

And there’s a lot to explain! Gauche had been staring right at the sun when it flickered and he loses part of his heart, while Sylvette was born at the same time. And so was Lag. And a dirigible crashes, the biggest WTF moment of the ep. This backstory, at least, is full of questions and weirdness. So later, when Lag helps other Bees wipe out giant beetles with guns that shoot out part of their hearts, all I could think was: “Ah, back to normal.”

Seitokai no Ichizon knows what it is and what it is not. It’s a show full of interrelated vignettes that can head off into random areas of another planet in a single line. The trouble is, often the show tries too hard to be what it is not: serious and touching. No matter what the characters happen to think.

No, but it can pass as an anime series.

So near the end, when the show tries to get a little touching, with kurimu giving a touching speech to the school, and the girls staying behind to help Sugisaki clean up, that’s when the show takes a nose-dive. Happily, the first two-thirds of the show is nothing but the student council goofing up. They do so by making up a serious story for the school festival, which gets more and more ridiculous with each character’s contribution.

This is when Seitokai is at its strongest. The dialogue is quick, the scenes get stranger with each line, and the voice actors again work as a splendid comic ensemble. I suppose you have to work in some serious along with the silly, but it’s a shame this series can’t do it all that well. Stick to goofiness, Seitokai. It suits you.

I’m not sure what conclusion Trapeze 9 comes to. It’s not a new dilemma in fiction: a child actor (Yasukawa) known for a cute smile, tries to make it as an adult, but can’t seem to grow out of his image. That is, he smiles all the time. And it’s hard to get roles with that schtick. Our wise Dr. Irabu springs immediately to work—by hitting on Yasukawa’s agent.

Mayumi looks amused ...

The ending, however, is unclear. Yasukawa discovers that pain will pull the smile off his face and so wears nipple clips to a serious audition. Irabu tells him repeatedly that he never had an image to begin with, and I have a lot of trouble with that conclusion. Finally, he’s reborn as a variety show star, smiling away. So what the hell was he going to therapy for in the first place? It’s not that he’s come to terms with being smiley all the time. Presumably he could have gotten variety show gigs before. Who told him he had to serious-up? His agent? Why wasn’t she getting him roles that emphasized his strengths in the first place? Fire her! Oh, she quit.

Oh well, as long as he's happy.

Next week it’s a baseball owner. Expect some scenes with BANDOOOO! Sorry. I love saying that.

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